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Proceedings Paper

Design and validation of inert homemade explosive simulants for ground penetrating radar
Author(s): Brian W. VanderGaast; John E. McFee; Kevin L. Russell; Anthony A. Faust
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Paper Abstract

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) identified a requirement for inert simulants to act as improvised, or homemade, explosives (IEs) when training on, or evaluating, ground penetrating radar (GPR) systems commonly used in the detection of buried landmines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). In response, Defence R and D Canada (DRDC) initiated a project to develop IE simulant formulations using commonly available inert materials. These simulants are intended to approximate the expected GPR response of common ammonium nitrate-based IEs, in particular ammonium nitrate/fuel oil (ANFO) and ammonium nitrate/aluminum (ANAl). The complex permittivity over the range of electromagnetic frequencies relevant to standard GPR systems was measured for bulk quantities of these three IEs that had been fabricated at DRDC Suffield Research Centre. Following these measurements, published literature was examined to find benign materials with both a similar complex permittivity, as well as other physical properties deemed desirable - such as low-toxicity, thermal stability, and commercial availability - in order to select candidates for subsequent simulant formulation. Suitable simulant formulations were identified for ANFO, with resulting complex permittivities measured to be within acceptable limits of target values. These IE formulations will now undergo end-user trials with CAF operators in order to confirm their utility. Investigations into ANAl simulants continues. This progress report outlines the development program, simulant design, and current validation results.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 May 2015
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 9454, Detection and Sensing of Mines, Explosive Objects, and Obscured Targets XX, 945412 (21 May 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2175586
Show Author Affiliations
Brian W. VanderGaast, Defence Research and Development Canada, Suffield Research Ctr. (Canada)
John E. McFee, McFysics Consulting (Canada)
Kevin L. Russell, Defence Research and Development Canada, Suffield Research Ctr. (Canada)
Anthony A. Faust, Defence Research and Development Canada, Suffield Research Ctr. (Canada)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9454:
Detection and Sensing of Mines, Explosive Objects, and Obscured Targets XX
Steven S. Bishop; Jason C. Isaacs, Editor(s)

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